A Giutkokwwabipimooacf(*) recently threw the following into her friend’s facebook newsfeeds:
“I would love for someone with a beard to tell me things about the world that only bearded people could know.”
Well, as it turns out, I have recently become bearded. Proof:
So as One With A Beard, here’s what I know:
1. Obviously, if you grow a beard you will look older. Why? Because babies don’t grow beards. Because the most famous beard is on Santa Claus, and he’s older than dirt. Because we most often see beards on homeless people and grandpas. Because Brad Pitt did this and made us ALL feel older:
2. Having a beard precedes a compulsion to check your beard for food. I lick the corners of my mouth at a ridiculous rate during meals; I think my lunch mates have now seen my tongue more than they’d like. It’s become a little character around the table, coming out to search for food like a ground hog or an eel. Maybe I’ll outgrow this need to find a mirror after I eat yogurt, but for now TELL ME IF THERE’S FOOD IN MY BEARD.
3. On the upside, the mustache works as a great spoon rake. No crumb left behind.
4. Other things besides food can get stuck in your beard. Lint from your wool blanket, for example. Or a woman’s hair after an embrace. Or snow. My mustache was actually icy after I walked to work yesterday morning, my breath condensing and then freezing on my lip follicles.
5. People will take you more seriously when you have a beard. This one only applies to people who look like teenagers without (a small group, I know). But after working with Armenians as a twentysomething-seen-as-high-schooler, I now feel just a twinge more confident talking to school leaders and NGO partners who, upon meeting the bearded me, are assured of my manliness and therefore my trustworthiness. My beard means I know how to throw back vodka shots with the best of them and that I am, in fact, one of the grizzlied Them.
6. Jokes and all, the thing actually keeps your face warmer. Armenia’s current icy wind doesn’t zap my chin like it does my unbearded friends. Turns out fur IS a good insulator.
6. A good beard is worth talking about. Walk into a room with a new, full beard and people will notice. You may remember that my mustache made me look like a creeper. The molestache, I believe, was how it was referred to in some circles. The beard, however, has garnered much praise. Wearing it I’ve been called some pretty flattering things. We’re not even talking the fairly common “distinguished” or the kind, “You really do look good with the beard.” I have in fact more than once been referred to as a “sexy beast”. Just relating the facts here, people.
7. If you can grow a beard, you can change your face. That’s a beard’s appeal to the bearded at it’s most simple. Even if, like me, you’re not really a big fan of facial hair on others, things change on a personal level when you get a new face. Every beard is as unique as the bearded soul it sits on. But inevitably the smile get’s its own space, and the eyes proudly hover above it all. Even if no one sees your beard or your goatee or your handlebars, you are baffled by the mirror’s reflection as right there, before your eyes, you become someone totally new. And probably more bad-ass.
*Giutkokwwabipimooacf- girl I used to kind of know whose wicked awesome blog is proof I missed out on a critical friendship